The U.S. International Trade Commission’s recent ruling that some of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices are infringing on Samsung’s (SSNLF.PK) patented technology has put President Obama in an awkward position. According to the ITC rules, Mr. Obama can overturn the ruling during the 60-day Presidential Review period.
This leaves the president with the dilemma of having to choose between supporting an iconic American company by vetoing the ITC’s decision, or following years of precedence by letting the ITC’s decision stand. Although it would seem natural for the president to overturn the ruling in favor of Apple, the issue is not that simple.
Vetoing the ITC’s ruling simply to support a U.S.-based company over a foreign company would create an unsavory appearance of blatant bias and could offend the Korea-based Samsung. According to Business Insider, presidents generally don’t meddle with the ITC’s rulings and the presidential ITC veto power has only been used five times since the commission was founded in 1916.